Taylor Swift Give & Take Away
From 2011 to 2021, Ted Woloshyn and I would skate past a wall-length pin-up of a young Taylor Swift in and out of Newstalk 1010 compliments of Virgin Radio.
By Bill King
From 2011 to 2021, Ted Woloshyn and I would skate past a wall-length pin-up of a young Taylor Swift in and out of Newstalk 1010 compliments of Virgin Radio. Ted limped at times from an old football injury, I’m told, while I battled the occasional plantar fasciitis. Yet, Swift never once sneered or laughed as we hustled our way past and down the elevators.
I honestly can’t recall one Taylor Swift song, but I will say I admire the generosity she’s displaying towards her touring ensemble, with $100,000 bonuses for her truckers. From tour dancers to sound technicians, it’s reported Taylor Swift is giving over $50 million in bonuses to everyone on the colossal Eras Tour. Millions were tossed their way. It’s understood Swift is raking in a billion on tour and could have followed the corporate greed line, yet she did the right thing.
As far as gouging her followers with exorbitant ticket prices, I’ll have to consult the expert on this. My wife Kristine says – “Good on her. I just bought two pairs of socks that cost me $18 – men’s items are half that price. A man’s haircut is half the expense of women, and our heads are the same size. Undergarments? Every essential a woman needs is twice the cost. Women make half the dollars yet pay double for everything. Go, girl!”
To get a clear picture of where the Taylor Swift saga spreads, I consulted freelance contributor to the Toronto Star and a person in the know, Nick Krewen. In today’s FYI podcast, Nick gives us a detailed overview and inside picture of the mechanics of running the machine and the acts of generosity. Here’s a short take and a collection of Facebook responses from the public.
In terms of her generosity in general. This is not the first time she’s stepped up. Probably the first indication of her generosity, I don’t know what year, when the Tennessee River overflowed, and a lot of homes and stores next to the river flooded, and relief was needed, I think Vince Gill stepped up to the plate and donated $100,000, and Taylor immediately stepped up and donated $500,000. This was at the very beginning of her career, maybe two or three albums into her career when she did this.
It was also reported when she last played in Toronto or the time before one of her dancers was going through some stressful situations and was from Toronto, and she handed him $50,000. No questions asked. These are the things we know about. I don’t know what she’s done we don’t know about.
Plus, all the money she gives away to the towns that she pulls into like food banks, etc… she’s a true philanthropist, and you don’t feel bad about her making the money she makes because she’s making a difference.
Jason Miles everyone is talking about the staff bonuses, but she quietly donated a huge amount to the San Francisco food bank. Even better, her fan base is SO loyal. They’ve donated to the same food bank (with no prodding from Taylor), and their donations alone have already lifted the food bank to a 42% increase over their entire TOTAL for last year, not including T’s donation. That’s just amazing.
Perhaps she appreciates her workers because she earned her stripes the hard way hustling as a solo acoustic artist - not a flash-in-the-pan TikTok sensation
Her music is very diverse, pop; country; alternative; rock; folk, there should be something you like, Don't miss it!
Bill, she definitely deserves the praise and admiration for being a true philanthropist and..(get this), she has written all of her own material, except for some covers and cowritten songs. I’ve played several songs on the “cover band world”, and happy to find out she wrote it top to bot.
Marsha Lynn Begeman
I admire everything about the singer. You are a wonderful woman, and I love your concerts, and I hope to get to one again soon.!!!
Same - only heard snippets of her songs, but she's got beauty, talent and business savvy. A great Boss.
She is not my cup of tea either, but this generous and noteworthy gesture of fair play very surprised me.
A rare act of real generosity from "Superstars" to her everyday workers on tour. Bravo Taylor!
She was "raised right," not #GREEDYSTREETS
I agree with these comments. She would show her greatness even more if she took a stand against Ticketmaster and created fair prices for tickets.
I have zero interest in her or her music. I'm mostly about the vintage stuff these days. Tho I have time for the occasional newer artist if they have something strong g'wan on. Good on her if she's compensating her tour peeps better than what's considered normal, etc., but musically Swifty doesn't quite cut it in my book. Based on what I've heard of her music. Which is admittedly a limited sampling.
...Anyway..this post is mostly about..' she seems like a pretty good egg'.
She’s a smart businesswoman/artist who has maintained rights to her work and has shared. She controls her finances. Brilliant!
And for the record, anyone who litters and thinks littering is okay, Taylor Swift has posted that she doesn't even want to know you. So few powerful people comment on this widespread environmental problem; this specific messaging from a star is refreshing and rare.
Those who pay insane ticket prices to see her at the expense of her fans who could never afford to buy a ticket fund her generosity.
Total agreement Bill. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard one of her songs, but she’s a classy young lady who knows what she wants and how to treat her team.
And she does it in what seems like an effortless way. She seems genuinely joyful and joyful in her approach to her fans. From what I've seen, it's either true to her as a person or the image she's chosen to cultivate—although I think it's hard to be consistently positive and giving unless you are that way. She's approached her career in general with a level of grace and maturity that seems out of the norm to me. As we know, it's a tough industry and can destroy people's spirits. But her natural confidence is clear. She must have a very solid management team as well that allows her to thrive. I can't remember seeing anything like this before. Now if only Ticketmaster weren't gouging the hell out of people. I don't know how people or families afford this.
I agree with the need to keep the ticket prices down. Having said that, I believe there are the Ticketmaster built-in and add-on charges that are what bring up the costs significantly. Keep in mind that the revenue numbers are big, but so are the costs of putting on a show like hers. When is the last time you saw a convoy of 50 semi-trailers go through your town with equipment that has to be set up and torn down after every concert? Plus the cost of hiring all the dancers, musicians, staff, hotels, airfares, insurances, etc etc. So, her donation to the truckers of $100,000 EACH and countless other bonuses to her dancers, musicians and staff were above their salary. The logistics are mind-boggling, but the show always goes on without a hitch. The tourism offices in every city she played in should give a portion of the BIG windfall to their respective homeless and food banks, just as she has shown to distribute some of her earned wealth. As a matter of fact - so should Ticketmaster.
She gained my respect when she stood up to Spotify and sued the guy who sexually harassed her for $1 (because it was more about exposing the guy than the money).
I agree with the accolades for her generosity towards her crew, her standing up to Spotify, litterers, and her old label. She is charting a fresh path that others should follow.
However, in this time of climate change and our planet's health, why does anyone need to tour with 50 trucks & buses and hundreds of support staff? The mega-shows all try to outdo each other with tech to justify ridiculous ticket prices. She is talented enough to appear with simple lights and sound alongside a great band belting out her tunes.
Call me old school...
They don't tour large as an excuse to raise ticket prices. They tour large to give the audience their money's worth. No one wants to sit in a stadium and watch some person strum an acoustic guitar for three hours (just ask Ed Sheeran who's had to completely alter his shows). Even Springsteen puts on a monster show...and he has no backup dancers or holograms and lasers.
To your environmental point...yes....it seems outrageously against our messaging of not polluting the planet. But as we've seen...corporate interests don't care and to that Taylor Swift needs to own up to her share of this.
Jaimie Vernon, a race to the bottom, IMHO. Your money's worth should be a great artist performing great music... that has worked for 400 years.
I don't need the music accompanied by laser shows, aerialists, 100 dancers etc. They do not improve the music; they distract. Again... old school and I am clearly not the target audience. I see 100-125 concerts a year and am quite satisfied never going to a stadium extravaganza.
Mervon Mehta Not sure if you've noticed in the last 15 years. People no longer go to concerts for the music. They go for spectacle and bragging rights TO that spectacle. It's like the Monty Python "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch, where they brag about how bad it was for them growing up. "Well, my family and I lived in a shoe in the middle of the road." But in reverse. No one aspires to be the guy that went to see KISS with cherry bombs and cannons anymore. They want to be the ones to say that they saw KISS blow up Saudi Arabia with weapons-grade explosives.
Please define 'people'. I can attest that hundreds of thousands of people attend jazz, classical, global, roots, cabaret and many more genres and do not miss the spectacle. I will agree that the mass market commercial concerts are different. Although, having seen Springsteen a half dozen times, my favourite was his solo show. Just him and a dozen guitars on stage with barely enough light to see him. He stood centre stage all night and poured out his heart.
Well done, Taylor!! I like her older music. She used to write most of her songs haven’t listened to much of her new music. I like the song “Mean” She wrote that about Kanye West is funny
Jeffrey Dean Goldstein
I do not know one of her songs either. Nor have I ever listened to her. What I admire about her the most is that she wanted to purchase back her publishing rights. Her greedy manager sold his company to some big investment company for 300 million, which included all of her six albums. So, when she couldn’t buy back the publishing, she rerecorded it!!
Now she owns it!! To date, she’s recorded two out of the six albums, and her fans are loving it and buying Taylor‘s versions! A big FU to Scooter Braun. Is that even your real name?
À couple of the Eagles, the leaders, nixed back when they wanted to give their crew a big taste. TS is doing it right!
She should run for president!!!!!!!!
I don’t know her music but I will dive into her body of work after hearing this.
Well done, Taylor.
As musicians, we often overlook (or, more accurately, we ignore) a lot of the people in mainstream music. Most of the time we just don’t want to accept a simple reality; well-written music does not have to be complex!
In my own personal opinion, Taylor Swift is one of the best songwriters nowadays. She doesn’t just write her own stuff; she also writes for a bunch of other artists.
And there are more! Some names we’ve heard on the Top 40 charts are really good songwriters! (and yes, some of them don’t write their music but they are pretty good singers!)
It’s just a matter of keeping an open mind.
I've always maintained that music cannot be bad; it's either to my liking or not. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t make it bad!
A billion?? That's a thousand million, right?